Have you guys seen the movie Always – Sunset on Third Street? It was such a box office seller that they did a sequel and have now decided to round up the gang for a THIRD!

I’ve only seen the first one and REALLY enjoyed it. It’s set in post war Tokyo and Maki, has just arrived in Tokyo thinking she is here to work at a large automotive company but turns out to be a small repair garage. Her arrival, how she settles, intertwines with the other short stories in the neighbourhood. There’s an unsuccessful writer, a dancer with shady past who now owns a bar… The movie is heartwarming and intimately captures everyone’s strive at finding their place in society. In the background there is the half-built Tokyo Tower symbolising hope and a better tomorrow.

It was the opening film for the Japanese Film Festival a few years ago and I was swept away by the director’s skill and the delicate atmosphere he created. Pace is good and the music is quite breathtaking. A must see! Though I can understand it might not fit everyone’s tastes.

Anyway, back to Maki – they are now preparing the filming of the next sequel and the director, Takashi Yamazaki, says:

Maki is a rare find in the Japanese entertainment industry (he actually uses the words “close to extinct”). Nowadays, few actresses exhibit her dedication and willingness to put so much effort into a role (she has to practice speaking with an accent for Always). On top of that, she carries a distinct air of elegance and purity. I hope she can continue to be like this (source).

Good work Maki! Though I must say I can think of one other actress – JURI!!! ^_^ I feel like re-watching Always and the sequel. Check this out guys!